Before last night’s game I made the bold prediction of an Oiler victory against one of the leagues’ top teams. I made that prediction based on what I thought would be push back resulting from a coach calling out his team. Turns out I was only partially right as the team did play well, but still lost. Oh well. Unfortunately for tonight I have no such bold predictions.
Time for a goalie rotation
The Oilers coaching staff are not taking any chances in this back to back series and why would they. “The Ders” (aka Anders Nilsson) is due for a return to the line-up and he did play well in his brief conditioning stint down in Cali. If the Oilers are able to compete with Anaheim’s offensive game progressing nicely, Nilsson will need to return to his “Andre the Giant” form.
Writer’s correction: Contrary to earlier reports, it seems Cam Talbot will be in net for the Oilers. Why the change? Could be trade, could be the flu. We’ll have wait and see.
Who’s hot . . . er, I mean playing decent
As a team, the Oiler forwards generated a healthy amount of grade A scoring chances in their game against the kings last night. If it weren’t for some bad luck and some world-class goaltending by Johnathan Quick, the Oiler’s may have come away with the win, or at least a point.
Based on last night’s game, there were no obvious passengers on the Oiler’s bus last night (Justin Schultz wasn’t playing), but unfortunately the execution was not there (as already noted). If the same effort is duplicated tonight, there is a chance for success.
What about Anaheim?
Like their California neighbours, the Ducks are rounding nicely into playoff form with not only their offence, but their defence peaking at the right time. In their last game, ducks goalie Frederik Andersen got the shutout in a 1 – 0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. If Anaheim decides to run and gun, the Oilers may have a chance. If they go to shutdown mode we may be looking at a sequel of last night.
Tonight’s not so bold prediction
The Ducks do play a pseudo run and gun game with the Oilers but the orange and blue do not quite keep up. With the score 3 -3 in the third, the Ducks get the go ahead goal and an empty netter in the final third seconds.
At this time there has been no trade of either Justin Schultz or Ted Purcell, but it looks like it will be just a matter of time based on the reasons listed for both being out of the lineup last night.